Congratulations on having taken the dangerous adventure of writing a book. And zillion congratulations if you are already done with the colossal task of writing your book. You are here looking for an answer to ‘ how to write a book title ‘.
The title of your book is the most important marketing decision you will take for the launch of your book.
How? Why ? and how will I give my book a title that makes me the bestselling author in no time.
Pull the reins. We will discuss it all. But let’s have a quick introduction first.
A book title refers to the name given by the author that identifies the book. The book’s title is its essence. It is one of the key factors that decide if a book will get picked up by the reader for purchase. While a good title can come to an author automatically, you cannot rely on that to always happen. You have to take conscious control to make sure that your title ‘rings like a bell’.
In our tech-savvy online world, where eBooks are becoming the new norm, you have to make sure that your title is written in a way that maximizes its searchability on platforms like Amazon. Here’s where a book title becomes more important for a new writer (and especially if you are publishing for the first time) than the already established ones. You have to make sure that the title is written in a way that does not harm its sales and marketing strategies.
Now without further delay, let’s jump straight into the process.
Do not worry about the title while writing your book.
Step 1 of answering ‘ how to write a book title. ‘
I have seen many aspiring writers worry about the book title even before they have finished writing the book. Please do not do this. Though you can decide the title of your book at any stage of writing, it is advisable to do that once you have finished writing the book. The title of the book often comes to the author while writing the book itself. So be patient if you want readers to pick your book and taking a dip into your world of fantasy.
Identify the genre, theme and plot of your book
Step 2 of answering ‘ how to write a book title. ‘
In most crude terms, genre refers to the kind of book. The theme is the powerful message or the conclusive idea you draw from the book in its entirety. And finally, the plot is the sequence of events in the story. To write a good book title, you have to know these three things. Fiction will generally give you more creative freedom than a non-fiction book. The latter has to be more pointed and descriptive of your book than the former, in which the title is aimed at piquing the interest of the readers.
Knowing the theme will allow you to know the emotion the title of the book should evoke, and the plot will tell you to have much the title should reveal to the reader. You don’t want to give everything away in the title itself. (If you tell them everything in the title, then they would not want to read the book:) Only enough to compel the readers to pick and read your book. Isn’t it?
Brainstorm potential ideas for your book
Step 3 of answering ‘ how to write a book title. ‘
Once you know the genre, theme and the plot of your book, read and research on book titles from your genre.
On kindle keyword research!
When you publish your book as an eBook, you also have to make sure that your book is visible to its potential audience and also tops the chart of books in its genre. Kindle Keyword research will help you do this. Keywords are the terms that the readers/shopper types on the Amazon search bar to find the books s/he wants to read. Research and knowledge about the popular kindle keywords can help you write your book title in a way that helps it rank for the relevant keywords.
Though there is no magic formula to do this, if you follow the right steps, landing your book on the first page (among millions of eBooks) is a piece-of-cake.
On kindle keyword research !
You heard that right.
The reason is most people who publish their eBooks ain’t aware that Amazon has its search engine.
Make sure your title is unique and not what is already popular.
Step 4 of answering ‘ how to write a book title ‘
After doing research, you will have a good idea of what works in grabbing the attention of the readers. But this is not it. Digging all the popular titles in your genre should also make you aware of the ideas that have already been used and are closed for you. I say closed because the identity of some other book is attached to that idea. And you want the identity of your book to stand out, be unique and not what is already cliched.
Play with your main characters, mood and the tone of your book
Step 5 of answering ‘ how to write a book title ‘
Your central characters drive the story, and everything revolves around them. Thinking about what their idiosyncratic characteristics will give you a lot of ideas for your title. Many books like “Stuart Little”, “Dr Strange” and “Hamlet” have used the name of their protagonists in the title. The name informs the reader about the leading force in the story and arouses curiosity.
Understanding the mood of your book will help you write a title that will evoke the emotion expected from the reader.
Do not be afraid to allow your title ave different shades of meaning. Every form of literature is subjective. The world of words is a self-contained universe of its own, aloof from commentary, open for any reader to enter, perceive and respond. (Ayn Rand expresses a similar view when talking about the re-creation of reality, according to the artist’s metaphysical value-judgments.) Therefore, you have to allow your book title to have different meanings for the readers. It is often possible that a book title may have a different meaning for the reader after they have read it, than what they had anticipated the title to mean.
Keep it short!
Step 6 of answering ‘ how to write a book title ‘
An ideal book title is one that is short and concise. Non-fiction (especially academic books) might stipulate a longer form of a book title. But that is because of the nature of contents in the book that have to inform the reader about it. Longer titles are usually not apposite for fictional works. So, titles like “Bride” and “Ruined” is brief and tells you everything you need to know in the title.
Write down all the ideas that come to your mind.
Step 7 of answering ‘ how to write a book title ‘
When you have brainstormed enough and followed all the steps that I have mentioned here, your mind would be flooded with ideas. So?
Jeez, we got our title, didn’t we?
Pull the reins.
You might come up with something still better.
That’s by trying a combination of every idea that has struck you till now. The general advice that I give for improving your writing skills is applicable here as well.
DON’T BE A WRITER AND AN EDITOR AT THE SAME TIME.
Which implies that you should not be trying to think of these combinations while you are brimming with the idea. When you find a title which you think is very catchy, jot it down. Create a list and write down every idea that comes to your mind.
Once you are ready with your list, go through your book or your story in your mind. Re-read the titles you have listed and think of the possible combinations that jump off the list of suggestions.
Have patience and get the title reviewed.
Step 8 of answering ‘ how to write a book title ‘
When we are too much involved in doing a task, we are often not able to review it critically. It is a good idea to step aside from your book and your title for a week and then come back and then see if it works for you. Getting it reviewed from friends and family members is also a wonderful idea. Tell them about your book briefly and then the title. Ask them if it sounds great and get s them intrigued. Be open to ideas and suggestions. Listen to everyone and see if you want to incorporate some of them to make your title better. But do not give in to an idea just because others think that it is good. You have to be satisfied with it also. If you are confused with an opinion, go with what seems more practical. All those suggesting for improvement or providing you with an alternative will have a reason for suggesting that to you. So, lend your ears, assess and see what works best!
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